I very lately began using rice flour after reading Sarla Razdan’s book on Kashmiri cuisine. It all started with fried squash blossoms, and now it’s pancakes! Until I read her book, I had no idea that we had pancakes on the subcontinent. In Razdan’s cookbook, rice flour pancakes are created with a simple batter of rice flour and water and seasoned with black cumin. In Sumayya Usmani’s book, Mountain Berries and Desert Spice, I saw another variant of them.
Usmani borrowed a version from one of her Northern Areas friends. She makes them with a coconut milk, cornflour, and water batter, scented with sugar and cardamom pods, and topped with cottage cheese, honey, and poppy seeds.
By adding my mother’s age-old butter-milk pancake recipe, I altered Razdan and Usmani’s rice flour pancake recipes. The addition of buttermilk and baking soda gives the pancakes a more desired, fluffier texture while still keeping Razdan and Usmani’s savoury, smoky flavour. Although this is a non-traditional recipe, if you like the smoky flavour of black cumin as much as I do, you will adore these pancakes. I drizzled them with honey, but I’m sure maple syrup would be delicious as well.
- 1 cup rice flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black cumin seeds slightly toasted
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon canola/sunflower/vegetable oil
- Mix rice flour, baking soda, salt, black cumin and sugar in bowl. Beat in water and buttermilk into the dry mixture with an electric mixer till well-blended.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Once hot, spoon a ladle of the batter on to the pan and cook each side for 2-3 minutes till light brown and cooked through. Remove from heat. Repeat until you have used up all the batter.